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Sony Xperia SP review

 Review: April 2013  

Rating: 5 stars

In a nutshell: The Sony Xperia SP is a smartphone with a stunning design featuring an aluminium body and a transparent illuminated antenna.

Today's best buy: Sony Xperia SP C5303 Orange ... from Amazon (£0)



Stick your hand up if you want to be lumbered with a £30+ monthly contract for the next two years. No? Instead, how about a £20 monthly contract for a stunningly good-looking phone that's very smart but not quite at the cutting edge in terms of features? If that sounds more like it, then the Xperia SP could be your next phone.

Design & looks

"Get the look, cut the cost!" could have been Sony's slogan for the Xperia SP. Instead they chose, "Experience the brilliance of Sony inside and out." If only they'd asked S21 instead!

But although Sony's slogan for the SP is a fail, the design itself is definitely a success. At first glance it looks rather like Sony's flagship Xperia Z1 phone, sharing the same flat shape and details like the aluminium power button, but the Xperia SP goes a step further in the design stakes. The SP is crafted from premium materials with an aluminium frame structure. A co-moulding technique allows a seamless, solid body to be created which looks amazing and feels absolutely rigid. This is paired with a transparent colour-changing belt along the bottom of the phone, which is in fact a transparent antenna, and which lights up to notify you of incoming calls and messages and pulses along with your music. The illumination effects can be customised to your tastes.

It's not as thin as some phones, and the metal frame means that it's a heavy phone, but that also helps to give it a feel of quality. It may not be waterproof, but it definitely has the edge over the Xperia Z, even though it costs a lot less.

The display is a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution HD screen measuring 4.6 inches. Sony's Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 makes for silky smooth video playback. This is a very nice screen, although the lack of full 1080p HD makes it the kind of display we were seeing on last year's flagship phones. The screen is protected by Corning Gorilla glass.

The phone is available in a choice of Black, Red or White Silver.

Android Jelly Bean

The SP runs Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). Sony is easing back on customisation of the user interface, and the SP runs almost pure Android. The Timescape app has gone, and there are just a few extra apps, such as the Walkman music player and the customisable home screen. The new Socialife app brings news, videos, facebook and twitter activity directly to your home screen. Google Chrome is used as the default web browser, and you'll find Google Maps pre-installed and plenty to download from Google Play.

Processor & memory

The processor is a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 clocked at a speedy 1.7GHz. Although this is only half the number of cores of the Xperia Z, the clock speed is faster, and we really don't think you'll find anything to complain about here. An Adreno 320 GPU adds graphics support. The 1GB of RAM is a good match for this processor, and the SP seems to be able to handle just about anything a reasonable user would want to do with it.

The onboard memory is rather limited, at just 8GB, but you can add a 32GB memory card to store music, videos, etc. This is certainly an area where some users might feel a bit restricted by the phone's second-tier specs.


The camera is also a step down from the Xperia Z, but it's one of the best in its price range. Fitted with a Sony Exmor RS sensor, it features HDR (High Dynamic Range) to handle a wider dynamic range of light and shadow. Our tests show that this camera can match a Canon digital SLR for reproduction of light and dark, with excellent colour reproduction even in shadowy areas of the scene. With 8 megapixels available, scenes retain detail even when printed.

The camera is equipped with all the extras you'd expect, such as autofocus, a powerful 16x digital zoom, face and smile recognition and a pulsed LED flash. It can also record video at full 1080p HD resolution

The secondary front-facing camera is VGA only, but it can be used for video calls with Google Talk.


The SP is a good phone for playing music. Sony have kitted it out with the Walkman player and all the latest audio enhancement features - XLOUD, Clear Stereo, Clear Bass and Clear Phase.

The speakers are typical for a mobile phone and best results are obtained by plugging in some headphones.


This is a 4G phone with 3G HSPA+ and quadband GSM as fallback options. The current pricing structure of 4G means that you probably wouldn't want to buy it on a 4G contract however, as this would cost a lot more.

For data, Wi-Fi is probably the best option, and the phone also supports NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB 2.0, DLNA and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The phone can function as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

For positioning the phone uses aGPS and GLONASS.

Battery life

Do you know the number-one complaint by smartphone users? You guessed it - battery life. Sony clearly get this, and that's why they've equipped the SP with their biggest battery ever. Rated at 2370 mAh, it's even bigger than the battery in the Xperia Z, and is enough to power the phone for an incredible 18 hours of talktime or 44 hours of music listening.


Everyone wants the best in life, but sometimes second best is a good option too. With the SP, you'll be saving a lot of dough, but you'll get a phone that looks even better than the Xperia Z. It still gives you a HD screen, a brilliant 8 megapixel camera, a fast dual-core processor, 4G and outstanding battery life.

The £20 per month price point offers some outstandingly good phones, and you could also take your pick from the Samsung Galaxy S3, Google Nexus 5 and Sony Xperia Z1 Compact. The bottom line is that these are all amazingly good value for money.

Sony Xperia SP features include:

Best buys
Sony Xperia SP C5303 Orange ...
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DURAGADGET T Lightweight Bla ...
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DURAGADGET Semi-Transpa rent ...
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DURAGADGET T Lightweight Pin ...
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Sony Xperia SP user reviews

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Average rating from 52 reviews:

Reviewed by lloyd from England on 5th Jun 2016
I often find the keyboard shuts down which can be somewhat irritating to say the least!!. Do not get this phone. You will regret it.

Otherwise 5*

Reviewed by mark from uk on 15th Mar 2016
Most frustrating phone I've ever owned, it's slow on Facebook and ebay and even worse when connected to wifi can't wait to get rid of it.

Reviewed by Danny from UK on 12th Oct 2015
Biggest pile of junk I've ever owned. Can't wait for contract to end. Never going sony again.

Reviewed by Sid from England on 22nd Sep 2015
I have just ended my contract, and boy am I glad!
There is lots of good advice on here. . .avoid the Sony SP!
it is without doubt the worst phone I have ever owned. Only on an EXTREMELY RARE occasion have I been able to use the Internet whilst out and about, also regularly get what I call the 'burnt screen syndrome', where it suddenly goes brown . .dark brown. . .black, this happens a minimum of 3 times per day, I've no doubt that this is a widely known fault, yet nothing is done, the shops still kept pushing them out. Phone is forever freezing, hard reset achieved nothing. If this phone was a person I would have grounds to sue it for mental anguish. I can't knock the battery life, and ease of use, but what's the point in that! Not a happy customer. If it were possible to rate this zero stars . . .I would. Goodbye Sony .

Reviewed by leeck from uk on 19th Aug 2015
At the end of my two year contract. Loved my sp, occasional lagging but it's,been reliable and never let me down. Second Sony I have had and now considering z3compact.

Reviewed by shar from uk on 5th Jul 2015
My sony sp was working fine, suddenly the screen goes darker and fades then goes black, cant find info on problem, sick of it, never again.

Reviewed by Roland from France on 10th May 2015
Terrible phone. Bought it a year ago for my girlfriend, worst present I ever made.
- lags beyond imagination
- very limited wifi range
- no oleo phobic screen coating means it's almost impossible to clean
- contrast, viewing angles and color reproduction are on par with the worst netbook screens
- awful camera
- takes ages to charge but minutes to discharge
- no "do not disturb" function means the notification sound and bright lights will wake you up at night
- lots of bloat ware that you can't uninstall (an antivirus ? Seriously ?)
- most of Sony installed software is useless or does not even work (eg. TrackId)
- not reliable enough to use it as an alarm clock
She wanted a bigger screen and more storage space than her 8gb iPhone 4 and fell in love with the SP's design. Needless to say, she's a lost consumer to Sony Mobile forever. Replaced it with a Note 3 as soon as she could afford it. How such a bad phone could be awarded 5 stars ? I'm puzzled.

Reviewed by col0362 from uk on 8th May 2015
Absolute rubbish. I will never buy another xperia again.

Reviewed by smith from uk on 7th May 2015
What a heap of junk, apps freeze, Facebook acts like the sp is the devils spawn. It overheated whilst on charge which resulted in a stress crack appearing on the screen. Apps shut down randomly. Battery life is useless. I have never hated a phone this much in my life (apart from all blackberry models) I can't even get an early upgrade so now I'm stuck with this for another year oh the joy.

Reviewed by GMB007 from UK on 5th May 2015
This is possibly the worst Sony product I have ever bought. Within a month the software update turned this into a very slow and laggy phone. Poor sensitivity on the touchscreen, undeletable apps which leave little room in the onboard memory for many more. Which means one is constantly deleting apps to free up memory to make the thing work at half the speed of it's competitors. Sony are not interested in helping you if you've bought this, they will simply tell you to re install the operating system (which deletes almost all the important stuff even if you use the backup software which is useless). Avoid avoid avoid.

Reviewed by Banditronnie from UK on 3rd May 2015
I can't wait until my Vodafone contract with this unit runs out. The phone is egregiously bad. Beyond parody. Barely functions as a basic phone, let alone anything else. The touch screen is unresponsive, it randomly changes settings by itself, it is slow, laggy, some apps refuse to start, and the Sony PC Companion software only recognises the phone every third try.

The last two software updates changed it from being just about usable into a life sapping monster. I hate it.

Not impressed.

Reviewed by Paula from Ireland on 25th Apr 2015
The worst phone I have ever used. 3 repairs later,several 60 mile round trips to the shop, 1 argument with shop manager and it is now worse than ever. It would take all day to list the various faults and surprise surprise vodafone won't replace it with a different one, has to be same model, but they're discontinued (I wonder why). If I could give 0 stars would be too much!

Reviewed by Oliver from England on 23rd Mar 2015
Good over all phone looks good and preforms well,
However its my 2nd in 2year contract with EE within 9months,with Wifi off its battery lasts a good day or so, or with wifi on along with normal usage lasts for about 7-8 hours, reliability useless! when it comes to needing to use phone in a rush, the screen stays dark and apps crash out on you.

Reviewed by Carolyn from Scotland on 20th Mar 2015
Terrible phone,just rubbish. It is always freezing. Sometimes it refuses to switch on and needs connected to the computer to get it to switch on. Now it has stopped receiving texts so even though I am still locked in a contract I will have to buy a phone that actually works. I have friends with different Sony phones who swear they are great but I certainly won't be getting any Sony phone in the future.

Reviewed by dave from England on 19th Mar 2015
Worst phone ever crashes freezes Al the time stay away. No stars but you have to give 1.

Reviewed by pratik from india on 1st Mar 2015
WiFi frozen.

Reviewed by Ben from UK on 12th Feb 2015
Nice phone with android 4.1.
Terrible phone with 4.3 installed.

Don't update whatever you do. I can't believe Sony haven't fixed the issue. I had to reflash 4.1 and now have an O2 branded 4.1 running on am ee handset. Ee told me they would release a patch to fix it. I was probably being fobbed off. Not sure if they ever did.

Reviewed by Diane from England on 10th Feb 2015
If l could have given the Sony Special no stars l would of, dreadful phone, crashed within weeks, lost everything, Sony didn't care when l contacted them, freezes constantly, wifi rubbis, will never buy Sony again, STAY CLEAR.

Reviewed by Floi from UK on 1st Feb 2015
I can't wait for my contact to be over so that I can get rid of this phone, it is slow and laggy and full of Sony bloatware that I don't want. This has put me off Sony phones, I will never buy another.

Reviewed by DaveTheBlade from UK on 23rd Dec 2014
Ermmm yeah, I stumbled across this thread by searching 'Xperia SP worst phone ever'..... It is without the worst heap of junk I've ever put to my ear...and I've put a lot of junk against my face.... :-

Started off well, then it's just a constant cycle of freeze, reboot, crash, reboot, freeze, apps hanging, terrible.

The only saving grace is it was cheap, so when the time comes for me to smash it to pieces with a large hammer, I won't feel so annoyed. Terrible terrible terrible product, steer clear at all costs!

Reviewed by Andy s from england on 18th Dec 2014
Such a shame because the fone looks and feels quality, but what a disaster, supposed to be a good camera but i cant seem to get a good quality foto? perhaps im doing something wrong? like others have said loads of bugs, i love the look of the z2 or z3 but ive been totally put off buying another sony fone, ive given it 2 stars and both stars are for the look and feel of it

Reviewed by Stuart from UK on 29th Nov 2014
Agree with all the negative comments on this phone. It is an atrocious pile of junk- do not touch with a barge pole.

Reviewed by Kath from UK on 26th Nov 2014
I'm exactly the same as "Dave" below ... "Now 6 months into a two year contract and its one of the worst phones I've had".

It's dreadfully slow, you wait forever for the camera to open the as soon as you go to take a photo it closes it. Opening contacts can take up to one minute, as can accessing an incoming text. Everything, the whole lot is just rubbish. Took it into EE shop and they did a load of updates but it's actually worse now. They said it would have to go back to Sony but I'd only get a very basic one on loan during that time. Still, only 18 months of contract left to get through :(

Reviewed by Neil from Scotland on 27th Oct 2014
Really poor phone. Started off ok but after first update it went totally downhill. Constantly crashes and takes forever to do anything. Keyboard loves to disappears in the middle of typing which is one of the most frustrating things ever. Used to think Sony made great phones but this one has made me think twice about buying any of their products again.

Reviewed by Dave from England on 26th Oct 2014
As other reviews have said , great to start with but now 6 months into a two year contract and its one of the worst phones i've had , Its slow,fails to open apps,takes an age to open the contacts , messages and camera,it also turns itself off for no reason . I have lots of Sony products but this will be the last Sony phone

Reviewed by Soren Lorenson from UK on 16th Oct 2014
I loved this phone for the first couple of months. I've now had it for a year and it far far worse than the cheap Samsung Galaxy Ace that I had before. It is so slow it is unbearable to use. For example, yesterday I was sent a text message and it took 45 seconds (no exaggeration) to open it. The camera is so slow to open and take pictures that usually the thing you wanted to photograph has long since gone. The camera is its best feature when it does work though. It loves to crash regularly.

I've only got another year to go. The I will have the pleasure of stamping on this terrible phone, wiping my bottom on the bits and posting the whole lot back to Sony.


It's a terrible phone that looks great. I would give it 0 stars if I could.

Reviewed by NCR from UK on 6th Oct 2014
Follow up review; 18 months on.

When I first got this phone I liked it very much. Lovely big 720p screen, Android ran smoothly; my only gripe was the camera software making it hard to get a decent in focus shot.
Around 12 months later Sony finally put Android 4.3 OTA for download, my SP was slowing up a bit so I thought great this will help. It did for about 2 weeks and then the bugs took over. Lets just say waiting more than 30 seconds between taking a photo and being able to view the shot you've taken is not good enough, the battery wouldn't last more than a few hours unless on strict power saving mode and the internal storage space was full and it doesn't let you move apps to memory card. Then there's the lag when playing games (not even graphically intense ones) and the odd freeze and reset.

Good phone let down by poorly ported Android 4.3 software.

Really disappointed in the end, cannot recommend.

Had to let this one go and adopted a Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE, it's older than the SP but runs incredibly smoothly and has a strong 4G signal, bigger screen and twice the internal memory.

Reviewed by Ginge from UK on 24th Sep 2014
Have owned this now for 10 months and I'm not impressed. Started off just fine, then android system update screwed it up completely. Started running so slowly, opening a message could take upto a minute! Unusable, kept freezing/crashing.
Another system update a few weeks later SEEMED to put things right, and it SEEMED to be as fast and responsive as ever. But no. It is just so frustratingly unreliable now, at random times. Alarm goes off at 04:30 and it sometimes won't let me turn it off - it locks up, so you have to quickly take the back off and reset it, to stop it. Phone rings try to answer it and it won't register you swiping the screen so you miss the call. Every now and again the screen fades away and goes dark before reappearing again. Sony, this is junk I'm afraid. In fact Sony know it is, so much so that they don't sell it anymore. If you have one though well tough. They won't do anything for you. Not interested. Never again will I buy a sony phone. Without doubt the most unreliable phone I have ever had.

Reviewed by Dave from UK on 24th Jul 2014
Had this for nearly a year. It's great. Amazing battery life, only the odd little freeze, but otherwise perfect.
Deal with it.

Reviewed by Carol from UK on 6th Jun 2014
Worst phone ever!! crashed 1st time after 3 wks then again but came back after a while. This time no luck % have to have the phone wiped losing some very precious memories!!! Gutted!!! Still only 8 mths into contract also!!! Would never buy Sony mobiles again or recommend them!! So upset by all this!!

Reviewed by jakob from slovenija on 19th May 2014
What does mean 'time to wake up' on 'abaut mobile'send me an answer on jax1088@gmail.com
Im a little scared about you comments but I like the mobile.
It does lag some times and vines on Facebook take and ages to load. But the games are working well

Reviewed by Pauline bradbury from Uk on 24th Apr 2014
Hate this mobile-slow at loading,screen keeps freezing/crashing and now canr receive texts!

Reviewed by R Gan from UK on 17th Apr 2014
Update - just upgraded to the latest firmware and android - it took a while, but the results are great - the screen is sharper and it vibrates properly - so far I have not experienced the problems described below.
Had it been slightly lighter and the power button located at the top left hand side, it would have been a great mobile.
(I mostly use it for calls, internet, text and email - on EE)

Reviewed by Kof from UK on 17th Apr 2014
This is a follow up review and honestly this phone has become a huge let down. I dont know if its just my phone but the performance seems to run so slow to a point that you have to reset the phone just to open an app. Since the update it has gone from bad to worse with almost every app displaying a "a not responding would you like to close?" notification..
It makes me wonder what this dual core processor is really doing or if there's really, is one in there?
Buyer beware..

Reviewed by Gilles from Uk on 23rd Mar 2014
I bought the xperia SP last night and had to retrun it this morning. The wifi connection is a shocker! Basically it only works and is stable is you are sitting by the rooter. I was aware it was somewhat sluggish from some reviews, but in reality it is so bad that Sony should have recalled those phones. The sales assistant, when i returned it, confirmed it was bad (he had had one). So i would really recommend buying anything but an xperia SP. Do not get near one. It is a real shame as the rest is really good, but it is key to have stable wifi, not something that disconnects all the time.
I am really surprised the official review her by the s21.com team did not spot or highlight such shocking flaw.

Reviewed by Kof from UK on 24th Jan 2014
My main concern with this phone is that the internal storage is a little low as most of the built in 8gb memory is already taken up by pre installed apps. So you have to be careful not to install a lot of apps onto the phone. Yes you can add an external micro SD card but not all apps will install on the card. So beware if you intend to use this phone for gaming with high memory usage.

I haven't had any Wi-Fi connection issues on this phone as I've noticed some users have, reading the comments below. However on first use when outside, I was not getting text messages and this was because the settings were not pre installed. This problem was resolved once I contacted T-mobile, so if anyone has this issue on first use, contact your network provider if this helps.

The phone is smart looking, with a good screen, relatively easy to use and a good battery life especially in stamina mode. Camera light could be better as some indoor pics look a little dull. Again there's settings to adjust the picture exposure which helped a little. Pics do look sharp and is good when recording in HD, very smooth..

Overall a good phone for a first time and light users of an android smart phone.

Reviewed by Celal from Turkey on 18th Jan 2014
Sony Xperia Sp C5303 C5302
Problems - Problems
Note: I have 2 units in this model phone
1 - To call a contact from the phonebook ( search ) when you touch the screen light goes off .
2 - a) During the phone conversation did you want to take your hand and write on your phone screen light does not come from ear to distinguish .
b) Although the phone to your ear during calls the phone's screen light does not go off
3 - do not call anybody looking for a sunny outdoors soon as you press the phone screen turns off.
4 - Did you enjoy listening to music over headphones and removed the phone , tried to make a call after call coming when you will see that the sound from the earpiece of the phone handset
5 - Power button ( on-off ) when you press the colorful straight lines on the screen and the main screen does not occur .
6 - Battery consumption is definitely running out very fast 2 hours of internet ( wi- fi) in the use of almost running out .
7 - Horizontal screen touch pad does not work on flat ground ( I encounter very often )
8 - Horizontal screen automatically turns on flat ground .
9 - The phone that you download from google apps and games to play multiple games and applications CLOSED he throws you .
10 - Notification light walkman, video and photo definitely does not work outside .
11 - Wifi connection between the modem and the very poor , although not interfere with shooting , including a maximum of 3 meters from the power line falls to 1 .
12 - A WARMING m doing it while surfing the Internet on the phone hands are sweating.
13 - Device 1% battery while consuming a maximum of one night all of a sudden 30% - 40% sold out .
14 - After the device is fully charged Sony Xperia Sp C5303 C5302 models of the box with charger to charge when I connect the original notification light from RED to GREEN color has not (because it did not charge )
15 - Seeing is not charging the device by pressing the power al wanted to turn the phone but it certainly did not open the phone .
Important Please Read Carefully
SONY MOBILE and TeleService decisions are completely in line with their own interests .
They could not have knowledge about customer satisfaction .
A brand of this size to do this I was very surprised
Beware Sony Mobile Xperia SP C5303 C5302 model will never take your hands do not buy
TeleService if you take care of ' you can not quit it and do not listen to your complaints do not help .
Is infamous for your money .

Teleservice - What you live in Warranty Service
Phone while I wrote above problems ( problems) write a note containing drove .
DEFINITELY SEE REPAIR my phone I stated my legal right tray .
In the service delivered to my phone when we took it in my physical problems were investigated and only a 2 cm section of the rear cover is peeling wrote .
The power button and the camera button at other places in the audio did not have a problem at all corrosion problems .
I said I want to change my phone service .
Shuttle service to the form I said I want a refund REFUND said they could not write .
Service a few days later my phone problems solved ready to deliver , and in spite of that service from the call I it TeleService 's gave me the service form from the internet so we can follow the given user name and password by entering the saw .
While the delivery of the phone , as did teleservice I wanted to look for physical defects .
When I received the phone
I saw the power button crashes into
My phone's screen to protect against scratches and paste the dislodging of my screen and re- pasting the film in a big air bubble abodes
When I get my phone instead of the non-metallic surfaces remain seated and saw that the space under the notification light .
Lower left corner of the phone's screen from the other corner of the saw remains high .
In addition to the problems of the phone I wrote a paper form and service personnel are creating additional complaints he noted.
Service delivery in the form of their current software is loaded on your phone wrote only
ANNEX I wrote my paper , but my complaint was missing.
Based on what they fixed my phone .

Besides our manager to repair my phone had better talk to me with a technical staff
He began to question them !
Question: I wrote my problems my problems problems problems mentioned in the form of service is attached as Annex where noted handwriting paper I wrote with
Answer: No , and laughing disappeared.
Question : So based on what you have repaired my phone, in response to which problems
Answer: silence
Question: I believe that my phone repaired repairing physical defects dropped her off and have not disrupt the symmetry of the power button collapsed into the lower portion of the outer surface of metal seated , and screen my film , I asked why you've dislodged
Answer: We only software interfering with your phone 've said.
Question: Why is my phone instead of boxes sitting crashed reason why the power button on the bottom left corner of my screen I said stay out
Answer: Maybe you did you throw at us , saying he tried to slander me, told me I was abusive and it has witnessed a friend .
Question : So you ruining Have my phone pierce did he admit it , but we these physical problems a description of the structure , then this product defective goods said it in you can see me service report data whereas the said
Answer: Unfortunately, we can not be and do their best to stave off early behavior exhibited .
Question: We have given that money will find a solution , please talk with your SONY MOBILE state told them to hear first-hand from teleservice
Answer: None of us said we ( The Republic of Turkey CONSUMER COURT ) specifying the service we give walked out.
NOTE: TeleService my phone problems by Annex murals lost , me and everyone's legal right which is 4 times the same problem from the 5 times different problems due to the restored device's right to exchange and refund the right to ask ate
Now I repair my device to go again for the same reason I can not prove it .
SONY MOBILE and TeleService decisions are completely in line with their own interests .
They could not have knowledge about customer satisfaction .
A brand of this size to do this I was very surprised
Beware Sony Mobile Xperia SP C5303 C5302 model will never take your hands do not buy
TeleService if you take care of ' you can not quit it and do not listen to your complaints do not help .
Is infamous for your money .

Reviewed by Dave from UK on 15th Jan 2014
What can i say?? I have had this phone a week now and it's been faultless . Some reviews have shown a problem with wifi connection but mine has been fine.Good camera,slick design,very user friendly,it seems quite robust too,has a feel of quality .

Reviewed by partha from india on 9th Jan 2014
It is a vry gd fetures ph i luv it nd tmrw i aslo buy this ph

Reviewed by VaderLondon from UK on 31st Dec 2013
It does what is says on the tin - you can always find faults, niggles and make a wish list, but for my money (New, £160 on eBay), this is by far the best mobile with 4G (40mb download speed achieved recently in London), a large display and a decent battery life (I talk only briefly, so it lasts 2-3 days).
(I got the latest Sony update and there are no issues with the WiFi or the Bluetooth)
Even the naff transparent antenna becomes handy by alerting you to new messages or missed calls - even when your mobile is in 'deep sleep'.
The music player is good, camera ok (not using it much...) and a bonus is the handy Car mode App (Windows Phone like interface) - large icons and buttons.
If you can live with the weight, badly placed power button (designed for people with a short thumb) and slightly washed display then go for it.

Reviewed by tasha from england on 30th Nov 2013
Love the design but have had the
PHone 4 days now and have had to
Charge phone every day since camera
Is brilliant so for that would rate

Reviewed by KM from New Zealand on 22nd Nov 2013
OK, got this phone in the wek and so far its a pretty nice phone apart from two major things So if anyone can help me I'd appreciate it

Firstly, I can receive E mail but NOT send them
secondly, my mobile data wont work.

In both cases I have checked my settings but cant work out why I am having these problems. The phone is second hand (3 months old) so I cant send it back to the shop. If it werent for these problems (and the weak wifi connection) t would be a great phone but as it is, these are pretty major flaws

Reviewed by ben from uk on 10th Nov 2013
The wify is soooo bad I will never buy Sony again

Reply by Bob from Uk on 26th Nov 2013
Just because you had a bad experience with wifi, it doesn't mean that all sony phones automatically have bad wifi connections.

Reviewed by NCR from UK on 1st Nov 2013
So here I am, 3 months later, for my updated review. I'm going to make it easy and list the positives and negatives that I've come to discover.

Positives: Screen is stunning. Call Quality is very good, I can use the speaker phone as a hands free in the car and it's loud enough to hear over road noise. Build Quality is great. Speed of GPS connections are superb. When on 3g (H+) and WiFi connection is strong and quick. My wife's Lumia 900 is a brick in comparison and Windows 7.5 feels slow and heavy and a friend curses his bloated Galaxy S3 compared to Sony's subtly tweeked Android UI.

Negatives: Difficult to get decent shots with the camera, often takes 2 or 3 shots to eventually get one in focus, tapping the screen to shoot is useless. The flash is also poor compared to friends iPhone 4s. Once every couple of days I'll notice that I don't have a data connection, turning the phone off and back on again solves this issue, sometimes just turning off mobile data then back on again solves this. And finally there is the lag reported by several Sony Xperia reviews; when you have a few apps open and touch the home button the icons on home screen take a couple of seconds to appear. This doesn't happen everytime and hopefully when 4.3 update comes out this will be resolved.
I'm still very happy with the Xperia SP, if they can improve the camera software and put out a fix for the home screen lag then to me it will retain a 5 star review but in the mean time I'm knocking off a star. I'll be back when 4.3 comes out to give an update.

My phone is running 4.1.2 Build 12.0.A.2.254

Reviewed by Jum from Burma on 25th Aug 2013
Don't know much about mobiles but this one's a great phone! So beautiful and excellent connectivity and a very good camera.

Reviewed by Stuart from UK on 16th Aug 2013
I got this phone as an upgrade from a Samsung Galaxy S2 however i had to send it back as i was not completely happy with it.

Good points
- excellent screen
- fast processor
- sound quality through earphones
- battery life seemed 'ok'

Bad points
- heavy
- illumination bar is too much, unable to turn it off completely. Lights up during a call. Too bright at night.
- build quality is not great on the back cover.
- unable to remove battery
- only 8GB of internal memory (SD card expandable).

To me it wasn't enough of an improvement from my excellent S2 and i will wait for something better to come along.

Reviewed by NCR from UK on 29th Jul 2013
This is my first non-HTC android phone and I have to say I'm very pleased. Have so far not had any of the issues mentioned by others, Sat-nav has worked perfectly with no loss on GPS and WiFi connection has been fine.
The one negative is the screen viewing angle, colours get washed out at even slight angles. However when viewed straight on the screen is stunning! The stock wallpapers look fantastic and movies and games are smooth and pleasing to the eye. This is the standout feature compared to other phones at this price, most of the competition seems to be happy with 480x800 pixels but for screens over 4" this really isn't good enough. Text, icons and widgets look so crisp on the SP's 720p screen!
I really like the well machined on/off/wake up botton which is precisely located under your thumb when holding right handed. Overall ergonomics are nice, I like the flat minimal look compared to the rounded Samsungs and the rear case is fairly grippy and tactile.
The clear LED strip at the bottom at first seems a bit gimmicky but it is actually the antenna and adds a bit of something to a somewhat conservative design.
The UI is very fast, I've tried to catch it out by opening several apps and switching between them and haven't spotted any lag issues. Downloads have been fast and I have been able to instantly connect to GPS via sports tracker apps, even indoors where my previous Desire S would take a good few minutes to locate a satellite.

Overall I'm very happy that I went for the SP over its mid/high range competition as I see it keeping me happy for longer than say the Lumia 820 or S4 Mini.

I'll update my review in a few months time as I'm well aware of Android phones knack of slowing down considerably over time, but as of right now this is a 5* phone.

Reviewed by Simon from UK on 14th Jul 2013
Major problems with the WiFi, where other devices see my home WiFi with no interruption, the sp fails to see it most of time even if I'm stood next to the router. A quick look on the web and I see plenty of people reporting the same problem. The paint is also bubbling and flaking off the bottom of the handset, I could live with the paint problem but not the WiFi.

Reviewed by Pete from UK on 27th Jun 2013
Probably the best mid-ranger on the market at the moment. well worth the money :D

Reviewed by Nick from UK on 27th Jun 2013
So this is my first EVER smartphone having finally taken the leap of faith. Being a Nokia fan for many years I was reluctant to go elsewhere but didn't like the look of the Windows OS.

I knew Android was sturdy and I took the plunge with the SP. I particually needed a good phone that I could easily type with and certainly this fulfils that criteria.

I will admit I have nothing to compare it to, but have found the SP and well made, solid phone with great features. the interface is simple and the notification light is a nice touch. the customisation for the light is also great. built in reliably Walkman with a decent enough camera (and dedicated shutter key) make this is a solid all rounder.

the real draw though is as mentioned in the review the price. this is free on a £20pm contract making it a steal in my opinion.

a GREAT phone and would recommend.

Reviewed by Russ from U K on 17th Jun 2013
Had phone about 2 weeks now , its mostly easy to use the big screen is the main reason for getting this phone along with a cheap monthly contract . A couple of things I can not sort out are how to farward a text message and I use a sports tracker but the gps will not always turn on so I have to restart phone and then it works . Would I recommend this phone ? yes , giving 4 star due to the above problems

Reply by Sioned from Wales on 11th Jul 2013
I had that trouble, didn't know how to forward a text, but I asked my savvy daughter and she found out that you just have to press the text and then options come up, including 'forward'!

Reviewed by Gary Norton from East sussex on 11th Jun 2013
Got this phone on Orange UK - £20.50 p/m contract, was skeptical at first, as had xperias in the past, and had problems, but was pleasantly surprised by this phone, from the very small amount of packaging, to the lovely interface, and the lights that pulse on the bottom of the phone, its just superb! runs 4.1.2 jellybean and will be updated to 4.2.2 soon!!!

Reply by Gary Norton from East sussex on 15th Jun 2013
Please note : To users who want to root/hack their phones, there is no custom roms at the moment

Reply by Rab Warren from London UK on 30th Jul 2013
Don't bet on that Jelly Bean 4.2.2 update any time soon, I've been in contact with Sony UK through their retail outlets and they aren't planning an update for at least 4 months!!

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